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1462137 tn?1287196311

Can verbally abusive people change?

I have recently come to realize that my husband is verbally abusive. We have 2 children, so it's not as simple as "just leave him". If we go to counseling and work on our issues, is it possibly for him to change/get rid of his abusive behavior?
He is willing to go to counseling for our problems.
20 Responses
1331083 tn?1285915954
Well that is a great step for him to go to counseling.And if u think it's not easy to leave if he get's worse then it will be hard to leave I left my abusive husband he is dead now he killed himself.When i left him he called my entire family and told them he would kill them so i had to go bk to his beating and verbal abuse it's one of those thing's that could go either way just stay on ur tip toes and be prepared for anything.I hope you guy's can make it work for your family's sake.Men @ a certain age get set in there way's and it can get worse and worse just be carefull and if he ever slap's or ANYTHING like that then u get out rite then or u will be sorry again good luck.
1462137 tn?1287196311
Thank you for responding.
I am sorry to hear about your bad relationship.

He has only hit me a few times. We used to hit each other, so that's not really abuse... just 2 angry people. We have both stopped that and calmed down, but he makes me feel so terrible about myself and makes me believe I'm crazy and it's all my fault we fight. All of our problems are my fault (messy house, financial issues, kids acting up, etc...). When he really wants to hurt me he tells me I'm not a good mom and our kids deserve better. That one he usually takes back, but not the rest.

I know he doesn't want to be this way. He sees that what he says hurts me. This is why he has agreed to counseling (if I can ever get him to go is another story). I just don't want to put all my time and energy into trying to make this work if he is never going to change.
134578 tn?1546634665
If he is willing to go to counseling and he really goes, I'd give him a chance.  Otherwise I'd be outta there.  

Kids who have grown up in abusive households often report that the physical stuff hurt them less than the verbal abuse, and left less lasting scars.  

I think I would give him a deadline for walking into the door at counseling and a second one for seeing some kind of change.
535822 tn?1443980380
Exactly its time to think how this behavior affects the children ,you say he 'only' hit you a 'few times' thats physical abuse not verbal, counselling may help but he has to want to change, if he is in any form of denial it wont work , so try the counselling but keep in mind that for all your sakes leaving may be what you have to do.
13167 tn?1327197724
olam,  I think there's a lot of hope for him if you find a really good therapist.  

I like your willingness to take some responsibility too - stating that most of your physical confrontations were fist fights,  not one way assaults.

Couples counseling is great,  but I also think he may need to consider issues within himself - his atmosphere growing up with his parents that has led him to behave this way,  and possible depression or other health issues.

Best wishes.  I see a lot to hope for here.
13167 tn?1327197724
Hi Olam.  I just went and read through your profile which I usually do before posting to someone.  

There's a lot going on in your life that makes your marriage therapy very very complicated.  With the weights you are carrying,  it might make healthy marriage very very difficult.   Along with your husband getting himself emotionally healthy as I mentioned in the last post,  your marriage success also hinges on you gaining emotional health.

I'm concerned about your weight goal of 97 pounds. Unless you are under 5 feet tall (it's possible) that's not a healthy goal.

Best wishes with your journey.
1462137 tn?1287196311
I am just over 5 feet, so that weight is not low for me. I have always been tiny. I just have some baby weight to get rid of.

I know that my issues make it hard on everyone, and that's why I don't argue when he says I'm screwed up. I remind him I am trying the best I can in therapy to fix that.

I get where his actions come from. I know all about the way he grew up. I don't think he really has any other issues, but who knows what he is holding inside. He very well may. I think he just gets frustrated with my not being "okay" yet. I am recovering from terrible abuse though. It doesn't just happen over night.

1462137 tn?1287196311
A deadline sounds like a wonderful idea. I won't bring it up until after we start counseling, because he would just tell me that I am the one at fault. But I think once we can both admit what we are doing, we can give each other some deadlines. Thank you.
1462137 tn?1287196311
He does want to change when he realizes how much he hurts me. Usually only when he breaks me down to crying or worse. I think if we got into counseling he'd start to see it more. I know it's not just him. I mean we both fight and we both have issues, but I don't berate him and break him down like he does to me. He has said he is willing to go to counseling for our issues, so I think that shows he wants to change (as do I).
535822 tn?1443980380
Yes I also think its worth trying and if he really wants to change then he will do , hitting you is more than verbal so make sure he knows that he cannot go back to those behaviors that also goes for you unless you were defending yourself,  .Good Luck I hope it works out....
Avatar universal
It sounds like you both need to learn some skills about fighting fair. Laying some boundaries and developing a plan of what each needs to do when things start getting out of hand. Maybe someone needs to walk away and calm down, come back and talk more when emotions have calmed down. You have two kids that are sitting back and taking all this in. They are learning how to interact with their future mate from you two. This is very serious business. Hitting should never ever be tolerated, and is a real good way to lose those kids to foster care, so I certainly hope that has stopped. Wanting to change is a good first step, but wanting to and being willing to walk thru the fire in order to do it are two different things. Unless you both want this with all your hearts, it will not work. First thing that needs to happen is you both need to sit down and agree on what you will each do when things start getting out of hand, and do it. Also make a list of what you both will agree to not do to the other or say to the other during these times. For example, ask him to not call you names, put you down, call you crazy etc. And give him the same respect. This will be hard but if you both want it badly enough it can be done.
Avatar universal
Is your husband going to counseling because you want him too?  Is he going because he truly wants to change his ways?  Anyone can change if they really work at it and really want to change, but don't expect it to be overnight, it will take a very long time.  You say it's hard to leave, yes it is financially.  But, if he continues, what will your children be like when they get older?  You have to think of them first and foremost, they cannot help where they live or what they are going through, don't put them through this if he isn't going to change.  
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